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Setting the stage for service experience: design strategies for functional services

Beltagui, Ahmad; Candi, Marina; Riedel, Johann Christian Karl Henry


Ahmad Beltagui

Marina Candi

Johann Christian Karl Henry Riedel


Purpose:This research identifies service design strategies to improve outcome-oriented services by enhancing consumers’ emotional experience, while overcoming customer variability.
Design/methodology/approach:An abductive, multiple-case study involves 12 service firms from diverse online and offline service sectors.
Findings: Six service design strategies represent two overarching themes: Customer empowerment can involve design for typical customers, visibility, and community building, while customer accommodation can involve design for personas, invisibility, and relationship building. Using these strategies helps set the stage for a service to offer an emotional experience.
Research limitations/implications:The study offers a first step toward combining investigations of service experience and user experience. Further research can strengthen these links.
Practical implications:The six design strategies described using examples from case research offer managerial recommendations. In particular, these strategies can help service managers address the customer-induced variability inherent in services.
Originality/value:Extant studies of experience staging have focused on particular sectors such as hospitality and leisure; this study contributes by investigating outcome-focused services and identifying strategies to create unique experiences that offset variability. It also represents a rare effort to combine research from service management.


Beltagui, A., Candi, M., & Riedel, J. C. K. H. (2016). Setting the stage for service experience: design strategies for functional services. Journal of Service Management, 27(5),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 24, 2016
Publication Date Jul 31, 2016
Deposit Date Feb 22, 2017
Publicly Available Date Aug 1, 2018
Journal Journal of Service Management
Print ISSN 1757-5818
Electronic ISSN 1757-5818
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 5
Keywords Service experience, Customer experience, Service design, Service management, Interaction design, Emotional design
Public URL
Publisher URL


Beltagui et al 2016 JoSM Setting the Stage OA.pdf (516 Kb)

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